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A Jughandle Intersection "Type A" where turning traffic is diverted away from the main intersection to a slip road.
A typical jughandle setup, with one standard jughandle (below) and one reverse jughandle (above), on New Jersey Route 35 in Hazlet, New Jersey, United States. 40°25′16″N 74°11′06″W / 40.420996°N 74.185092°W / 40.420996; -74.185092

A jughandle is a type of ramp or slip road that changes the way traffic turns left at an at-grade intersection (in a country where traffic drives on the right). Instead of a standard left turn being made from the left lane, left-turning traffic uses a ramp on the right side of the road. In a standard forward jughandle or near-side jughandle, the ramp leaves before the intersection, and left-turning traffic turns left off of it rather than the through road. Right turns are also made using this type of jughandle. In a reverse jughandle or far-side jughandle, the ramp leaves after the intersection, and left-turning traffic loops around to the right and merges with the crossroad before the intersection.

The jughandle is also known as a Jersey left due to its high prevalence within the U.S. state of New Jersey (though this term is also locally used for an abrupt left at the beginning of a green light cycle).[1] The New Jersey Department of Transportation defines three types of jughandles. "Type A" is the standard forward jughandle. "Type B" is a variant with no cross-street intersected by the jughandle; it curves 90 degrees left to meet the main street, and is either used at a "T" intersection or for a U-turn only. "Type C" is the standard reverse jughandle.[2]


The first mention of jughandles in the New York Times is on June 14, 1959, referring to jughandles having been built in New Jersey on US 46 in Montville, US 22 between North Plainfield and Bound Brook, and Route 35 at Monmouth Park Racetrack. By the beginning of 1960, New Jersey had 160 jughandles, most if not all standard before-intersection jughandles. The 160th one was on U.S. Route 1 between New Brunswick and Trenton.

Examples of signage at jughandles on New Jersey state highways.


Diagram of a jughandle intersection. All turning traffic exits to the right, before entering the cross road turning either to the left or right.


In Perth, Western Australia


In Nanaimo, British Columbia:

In Markham, Ontario:

In Toronto, Ontario:


In Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia:


In Tampines:

United Kingdom[edit]

In Northern Ireland:

United States[edit]

States with a prevalence of jughandles include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Vermont. Jughandles are particularly associated with New Jersey.[3][4][5] Jughandles are possible in other locations as they are a valid type of intersection control to consider for intersection design.


On New Jersey State Highways and Pennsylvania State Highways, a white sign is placed before a jughandle or at the beginning of a stretch of jughandles saying "All turns from right lane". Each jughandle is marked with a white sign below the standard green sign, saying "All turns", or "U and left turns" in the case of a reverse jughandle.

On locally maintained roads, and in other states, jughandle signage can appear to be haphazard and confusing to out of state drivers.


  • Safety
    • Removes left-turning vehicles from travel lanes, particularly from higher-speed left lanes.
    • Pedestrian crossing distance is reduced across the mainline.
    • Reduced left-turn conflict points as compared to a standard four-leg intersection.
    • Removes conflicts with right-turning vehicles and pedestrians/bicyclists at the primary intersection.
  • Operations
    • Reduced overall travel time and delay through the intersection.
    • Reduced signal phases due to the elimination of the associated left-turn phase(s).
    • Increases queuing space for left-turning vehicles.
    • Shorter pedestrian crossing distance across the mainline may provide for shorter cross street signal phases.
    • May improve U-turns by reducing the need for a tight-radius turning maneuver which conflicts with cross-street right-turns.
    • Reduced need for rights-of-way acquisition when there is not any room for a left turning lane; focuses land requirement near intersection rather than a long stretch that is often highly developed.


  • Safety
    • Driver confusion, due to left-turns being made from the right side of the roadway – an uncommon configuration outside of the northeastern United States. Expectancy issues may be compounded due to inconsistency between intersections, where some intersections may be jughandles and others may be standard intersections. These issues can be reduced through advance signing.
    • Pedestrian conflict is increased along the cross street due to the addition of an additional intersecting approach.
    • Creates a higher-speed conflict between vehicles and pedestrians/bicyclists at the divergence point of the jughandle ramp.
  • Operations
    • Increased travel time and delay for left-turning motorists redirected through jughandle.
    • Increased overall percentage of vehicles stopped at the intersection.
    • Potential for queues along the cross street to block the exit terminal of the jughandle, increasing stops, delays, and travel time of left-turning motorists.
    • With reverse jughandles, motorists travel through the intersection twice: adding to the net movement demand.
    • Motorists wishing to perform a U-turn maneuver at a reverse jughandle must perform a weaving maneuver across all cross-street lanes to travel from the jughandle terminus to the left-turn lane (unless another reverse jughandle is located on the other corner on the side of the cross street ahead of the motorist's original direction, in which case the motorist stays on the right but must cross through the intersection three times).
    • To provide for motorist safety, the Federal Highway Administration recommends locating transit stops further from the intersection, outside of the jughandle ramps. This can reduce pedestrian demand due to the additional travel distance to access the transit stop.
    • "Type A" standard forward jughandles can encourage drivers to try beating (bypassing) the stopped redlight traffic by driving into the jughandle, turning left, and then turning right onto the original roadway to proceed in the original direction of travel prior to that roadway's light turning green again and releasing the stopped traffic.
  • Right-of-way
    • Additional right-of-way may be required alongside the roadway, unless the existing street network can be utilized.


  1. ^ Ben Zimmer (2013-04-07). "Boston driving: So bad it needs its own lingo? / Terrible road maneuvers, from the Boston left to the California roll". Boston Globe.
  2. ^ "NJ DOT Roadway Design Manual" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  3. ^ "How We Drive, the Blog of Tom Vanderbilt's Traffic  » Blog Archive  » On the Origins of the Jersey Jughandle". www.howwedrive.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  4. ^ "New Jersey Jughandle Bill Seeks End of Left-Turn Oddity". Bloomberg.
  5. ^ "End of the 'Jersey Left?' Ban on future jughandles discussed today". nj.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018.

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